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27 y/o returns: The Sunderland XI that Phil Parkinson must pick against Gillingham

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Sunderland face a pivotal clash as they take on Gillingham this weekend.

The Black Cats are in desperate need of a victory with any hopes of challenging for promotion now hanging in the balance.

The Wearsiders have picked up 26 points in 19 fixtures so far, a tally which puts them three points outside of the play-off places and sitting in 11th place.

More worryingly, Sunderland are currently a staggering nine points away from their original target of securing an automatic promotion spot.

Things haven’t exactly gone to plan for Phil Parkinson since he took over, but it’s now time to get the season back on track.

The clash with Gillingham will prove to be a tough test, but who will Parkinson select in his starting XI? We take a look.

While Phil Parkinson would love to make changes, the truth is that he needs to pick his best XI and stick with it.

Lee Burge started in goal against Burton Albion, and may well retain his place for this one.

Conor McLaughlin, Jordan Willis, Joel Lynch and Denver Hume started in defence against the Brewers, and few would argue that this seems to be the best option that Sunderland have in defence.

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In midfield, Grant Leadbitter and Max Power could start, while Duncan Watmore, Luke O’Nien and Aiden McGeady could retain their place as the creative men in the team.

While the return of Charlie Wyke and Marc McNulty is a huge boost in attack, their lack of match sharpness means that Will Grigg should keep his place in attack, however it’ll be a huge boost to have the duo there to call on if needed.


North East-based EFL writer and aspiring author

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 27 y/o returns: The Sunderland XI that Phil Parkinson must pick against Gillingham

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